Lincolnshire councillors slam urgent treatment centres plans

Plans for five urgent treatment centres across Lincolnshire have been slammed as '˜lacking clarity'.
Louth County Hospital.Louth County Hospital.
Louth County Hospital.

The Lincolnshire STP has recommended the sites so that the service can be rolled out across the county.

The services will diagnose and treat the most common illnesses and injuries patients go to accident and emergency for.

But, members of the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire raised concerns over the details of the proposals.

Chair of the panel Councillor Carl Macey has called for the plans to be brought back to the committee next year before they go out for consultation.

“We need to see further details,” he said.

“Here we have a document that talks about these urgent treatment centres and they’re not giving any details of how long they’re going to be open for and how they’re going to impact on A&Es.”

He added that the panel would consider “stronger action” if no further detail was brought back.

Health scrutiny panel members can refer plans to the Secretary of State if they are not satisfied with them.

The committee raised further concern that the five centres do not cover the whole of the region, such as Gainsborough and Sleaford.

But, Ruth Cumbers, urgent care director for Lincolnshire’s CCGs, said the move was being rolled out across the country.

“This is a nationally mandated scheme,” she said.

“Across the whole of the county there is a lot of confusion over the alternative services.

“It is a really exciting opportunity for us to be able to standardise.”

Five sites have been identified across the region to take on the centres:

• Louth Hospital

• Boston Pilgrim Hospital

• Lincoln County Hospital

• Stamford Hospital

• Skegness Hospital

Officials said the idea is that the centre will relieve pressure on A&E so the department is free to deal with more serious cases.

The service will combine minor injuries units, walk-in centres and urgent care centres and be based in front of A&E departments.

Patients will be encouraged to call the non-emergency number 111 in order to be seen but a streaming service will be available at the front door.

Both Lincoln County Hospital and Boston Pilgrim are expected to be launched in December next year, but further funding is needed to expand floor space.

The centres will act as a filter for the emergency departments which launched a streaming service in late 2017.

Meanwhile, the Louth Hospital site has been used as an urgent treatment centre pilot site since March.